ARI REMIX PRESENTS: The EXTRA Zine Project feat. QUEER TV | A Story of Queer TV Broadcasting in Sydney Australia & EXTRA Issue # 6

..I loved interviewing activists such as José Ramos Horta, founder of and leader of Fretilin at the time, the pro-independence East Timorese resistance movement; jumping on a boat with a camera joining the flotilla protests against the US nuclear warships in Sydney harbour and being sprayed by U.S. water cannons…
Meredith

1. The image is an angled shot of a room with an old tube TV set and a light stand. On the left-hand side of the picture a light on a stand is bouncing light off the ceiling, the right side of the picture there is a table with an old 4:3 TV set on it. The television has the live broadcast of Queer TV on it, QUEER TV is written in an old digital font, green colour, CAT TV UHF 31 font is also on screen, this is the frequency channel the broadcast is on.

2. On a thin balcony corridor two people are working, preparing a wall to hang an antenna onto. The balcony is on the 28th floor of the University of Technology building. A male presenting person Geoff in blue jeans, checked shirt and sandals is on a metal stand looping wire through a venetian metal wall. Meredith, a tomboy femme, is looking down preparing the wire.

3. This is a long perspective of the previous photo, showing the scary tiny space of the balcony corridor that we had to work with to get the antenna fixed to the wall. The background of photo is a big sky and inner west Sydney suburb Redfern. The foreground of the photo shows other antenna pieces.

4. Shows the balcony corridor as in the previous photos. Meredith, in the foreground, is connecting a microwave dish to a cable feeding a transmitter. The wind is gusty in the corridor with Meredith’s top billowing up and ponytail hair flying about. The microwave dish is on grey metal tripod stand with the round circle dish pointing out over the balcony towards the Queer TV studio below in the Chippendale warehouse. In the background of the photo stands a masculine person, Finn, with black short hair dreads looking out over the balcony.

5. Shows the balcony corridor with Finn in the foreground (in black jacket and black stud wrist bands) helping Meredith do a line up of the microwave dish. On the balcony edge sits a small diagnostic unit to monitor the optimum signal strength. Meredith is focused on the unit connecting a cable.

6. Shows the CAT TV Antenna overlooking the balcony and inner west Sydney, which is the small footprint of the low powered transmitter we are using. The side of photo shows a metal stand with a pipe bolted to it onto which the antenna is clamped with a cable snaking out the bottom. In the distance there are green trees, buildings, and big fluffy cumulous clouds.

7. Shows a long shot of a tall tower building in the distance with traffic signs in front of it. The tower is the University of Technology campus. A red arrow is drawn on the photo pointed to the 28th Floor of this building where the Antenna and Transmitter is housed. The 26th floor housed a temporary studio and control room for the TV test Transmissions of 1990, 1991, and 1992.

8. Shows CAT TV control room suite being put together in UTS. Meredith stands in front of a long table with her hands on an analogue vision mixer, next to this are 3 tape decks and metal shelving at the back with lots of monitors on them. The monitors are showing a mix of noise, colour bars and black in them and are labelled camera 1,2,3, & tape decks 1, 2 , 3, and Preview and On Air. There is an audio mixer to the right of the desk.

9. The photo shows the control room with lots of queers working and hanging about. In the foreground a smiling person is sitting on a chair. Another is standing with headsets on, preparing to swap shifts for the next live show. Next to them are four people standing, some looking at the equipment, others talking to each other.

10. This photo from 1991 is taken from behind the talent on set, looking out to the crew and studio audience. The studio audience of around 30 people are sitting down at the back of the room. Two of the crew in front of them can be seen with headsets on- the floor manager is kneeling down, the other, a camera operator, is standing with a camera on tripod. In the centre is a can light on a stand reflecting light off the roof.


11. This photo is some of the crew in the control room working. The perspective is a side angle looking along the long table holding tape decks, with pneumatic ¾ inch tape covers in front of the decks, and paper scripts next to a vision switcher on it. We can see those sitting at the tables – their faces are concentrating. In the foreground Rodney with a white t shirt on has their mouth open and is manually controlling a tape deck. Next to them sits Dahlia, the director, she has a headset on and is reaching for a VB can of beer whilst staring straight ahead at a monitor. Next to her is another person crouched down watching, and a woman who is the audio operator with headset on. At the back of these crew sitting are three people talking and getting the next tapes ready.

12. This photo shows a camera operator and floor manager on set. The shot has a turquoise carpet with cables snaking over it to the cameras and lights. The centre of the shot has the floor manager squatting down – she wears a short skirt with black suspenders, stockings cut off below the knees, a blue singlet on top, and bangles on her arm. Their hands are on their ears adjusting the headset and mic, they are looking towards the talent on set. The camera is behind the floor manager on a large tripod on wheels. The camera operator, Jade, wears blue king gee shorts, a blue singlet and leather cap, alongside a headset, and is looking into the camera monitor.

13. This photo is from the 1991 test transmission control room. The perspective looks over the shoulders of five crew members. The image depicts the back of heads with an equipment laden table and a bank of monitors on shelves facing the desk.

14. This photo is of the 1991 control room again, taken from the back of the monitor racks looking into the faces of the crew. In the centre, Ross, in a yellow singlet with headset and microphone, is doing a voice over. Carla, next to Ross, in a green top, is vision mixing. Behind them is Mazz, in a black top, with a few people laughing. Behind them to the far left of room is Amanda, who is smiling, whilst talking on an old analogue handset phone, with the cord snaking under her arm. She is running her hand through her hair.

15. This photo is of the studio set in the Buckland Street Chippendale warehouse where Queer TV’s remote studio was located for a weekend of broadcasting during Mardi Gras 1992. This set was made by NIDA students and features a frame of a TV, made in red, on the wall, with lots of plastic fruit hanging on wire around it. In the centre of shot are two drag artists – Bob Downe wearing a grey safari suit and Lily Savage in thigh high black shiny boots, shiny black vinyl jacket and mini skirt. They both hold microphones. Next to them is a camera on a tripod, and tripods with lights on them.

16. This photo is also of the Queer TV studio from the 1992 broadcast. It’s a long shot of the warehouse open space studio. The floorboards are painted black and there is a high brick wall painted white with three large windows left of frame. Also on the left of the photo are two drag queens walking next to a tall pillar, one drag queen is in an orange jumpsuit and big blonde wig the other in tight blue mini dress. There are two camera operators in the centre of the shot moving cameras on tripods, positioning them in front of a set with two red lounge chairs on fake green grass. One person is also moving lights into position for lighting the set.

17. This photo is a mid-shot of two camera crew, also from the 1992 broadcast, where a lot of live shows were created in the Buckland Street warehouse space. To the left is the floor manager Barbara, and next to her the camera operator Carla. Both are turning to face the photographer.

18. This photo is also from the 1992 broadcast. It is a shot of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence blessing the studio. In the foreground is Finn on camera sitting on the floor shooting upwards towards the Sisters. Two sisters are standing and one bearded sister is sitting wearing a silver nuns habit.

19. This photo is of also from the 1992 broadcast. It shows Finn kneeling in with a camera shooting a lesbian performance piece. The foreground of the shot shows long black floorboards leading to two women on the ground next to a wall. There is a pile of wood on the floor. One of the women is on her knees, reaching across to the other, passing her a Labrys double axe. Her breasts are free, and she is in black loose pants. The second woman is swathed in purple material.

20. This shot shows the crew and artists getting ready. Two drag queens sit to the right. One queen is in a blue and silver dress with red long gloves, big rings over gloved fingers, drinking a cup of tea. Two camera operators are in the foreground, preparing the camera. There are lights on stands and cables snaking all over the floor, and in the background, four large windows looking out to trees outside at from the second floor where the warehouse studio was located.

21. Is a photo of the control room at the warehouse. It shows four techs all leaning over some equipment, maybe the mixer or a tape deck. Next to them we can see two TV monitors that show a white background with black font text saying Queer TV UHF 31, a text graphic slide which is on air.

22. Is a scan of the approval letter from the Department of Transport and Communications. It approves CAT TV’s temporary permit licence to do the test transmissions on UHF 31. It is dated 16th December 1991. The letter head has the Australian government crest in red ink with the black type on white paper.

23. Is a scan of a black and white photocopy of a recruiting poster for CAT TV. These were posted and leaflet dropped all around inner Sydney on walls and in cafes. In large black font it says ‘Soliciting Interested Parties (congenital inverts or those perverted by their upbringing). Visionary persons drawn towards electronic transmissions should consider being active in CATV’s dyke and poof week, planned for February 1991 to complement the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras’. It includes the time and place of the meeting. The header of the poster is CAT TV in large black font with a repeating pixelated kitten walking. The bottom of the poster has the pixelated kittens repeated with the words Community Access Television.

24. This is a scan of a leaflet advertising the Wild Gals + Cat TV lesbian and Gay show.
Wild Gals was a queer radio program on community radio Skid Row radio every Saturday night. CAT queer unit and Wild Gals collaborated on this show inviting artists and activist to be interviewed for a live record. That is Wild Gal’s was live to air and CAT recorded the show as Live. There is a link to this show below. The image is a steal of a cartoon cell of a graphic novel of the time (possibly the Hernandez Brothers work) showing a non-binary or trans presenting person of Latinx heritage with long hair in the background, dressed sexy in a ripped top tied in a bow above the tummy and short striped shorts. They have a text bubble above their head saying “don’t give up – our story can be told now, get into Cat TV Transmitting from July 19th”. In the foreground is a large silhouette of a head hanging down looking forlorn. The bottom of the leaflet invited community to be part of the studio audience, saying “be part of the studio audience for the televised broadcast of Wild Gals on Radio Skid Row 88.9FM 7pm – 10pm”.

25. A poster promoting the newly formed Queer TV and inviting video and film makers to send their work in. These were photocopied on mass and pasted up/wrapped around poles in mostly Newtown, Glebe, Surry Hills and Darlinghurst and in the media units at universities. The poster has a large, pixelated triangle in the centre, light grey in colour, written over it in a black text says “Community Access Television announces the newly formed Gay and Lesbian group, Queer TV, established to open up a forum for Dyke and Poof concerns. Queer TV is programming a week of Lesbian and Gay Public Television to coincide with Mardi Gras.” And then has a PO Box to write to get an application form + more information.

26. Benefit leaflet for CAT TV. With no state funding, the transmissions and spaces we occupied were held together by cash made at community fundraising benefits. This one’ Cat tele brings you vids of local misdeeds and global disorder. The image is of an anarchist black cat throwing a bomb, with TV bomb written on the circular bomb. There is an exploding centre with beams spiking out. In the centre explosion it has the text ACTIVEAT, the name of the event. Other text promotes videos of actions, Reclaim the Streets Newtown, Critical Mass, Alt Love Parade Berlin. With guests San Fran’s Food not Bombs collective, MC Johnny with vegan food at the C@tayst internet café. $5 entry.

27. This is CAT’s double sided catifesto leaflet which outlines the ambitious aims and objectives of CAT. The A5 leaflet is on bright yellow paper and has an image of a black fluffy cat sitting on a TV set with CAT text written in bold font. The TV set has horns on its side with electricity shooting out of it. This is a text heavy leaflet. Briefly some of the text has CAT aims “to operate as a collective of individuals who are committed to the establishment and maintenance of a community media centre, operating along co-op decision making principles and to foster alternative and experimental forms of information production and to provide broadcast and non broadcast outlets for their distribution promoting values which are non-discriminatory towards gender, race, sexuality age or disability.”

28. The other side of the previous leaflet, again on bright yellow paper. CAT is written in large font as a header. Underneath in smaller text is written:
“CAT is a co-op of grass roots communicasters creating radical video for public TV.
CATAFESTO
* Acknowledge we are on Stolen Land.
* Fight Sexism, Hetro-Centrism, Commercialism, Able Bodism, Classism, Racism.
* Support liberation struggles.
* Champion enviro terrorists.
* and reflect our indy under culture in music words and pics.

29. A benefit leaflet. This benefit was put on by The F.M.A Feminist Media Afront, which collaborated on numerous women’s warehouse parties with all profit going back into Skidrow and Cat TV. The leaflet shows a side shot of an Anglo descent woman with mesh head covering. They have a black corset on, shoulders bare, arm flexed with a tight fist, the woman has a lot of arm muscle bulging. The photocopy is on green paper, with “Women’s Warehouse Dance: written in large font, “10pm to dawn”. The venue was at a friend’s warehouse at 122 Parramatta Rd Camperdown.

30. A benefit called CATaclitmix. A mini video festival featuring local women’s vids and pieces to celebrate International Womens’ Day. These screenings were at CATV warehouse a space we squatted for a minute in 1992. The image on the leaflet is of a cartoon catwoman swinging out of a window with a haul of stolen jewels.

31. Another FMA benefit poster. The image is a black and white screen shot of a film with a woman of black hair and Asian ancestry, laughing wildly. “Women’s Warehouse 11” is written in large black font.

32. Poster of BRAT, a girl ravers benefit for CAT TV. The poster is a black and white photocopy. Two tuffy European heritage women are centre shot, dressed in black, both standing leaning forward starring down the camera, defiant, giving the finger to the camera. “BRAT” is written in large font down the side of the poster with the acts and dj’s written on the sides.


33. Poster of Slut, another girl ravers benefit for CAT TV edit suite and Jellyheads PA (Jellyheads was a short-lived anarchist rented/run warehouse space in Chippendale). This poster is in colour, printed blue, green and black. The image is a sexy charcoal drawing of a butch of Indian heritage in a leather jacket and cap, leaning against a brick wall, lighting the cigarette of an Anglo (perhaps) descent femme wearing a large earring and with her eyes closed. Girl ravers in a love heart is scrawled into the brick wall, with artists and crew names written down the sides of the poster.

34. Leaflet of a Womens’ Band Day CAT Benefit. This is a black and white photocopy. The image to the left has a picture of a tomboy of Anglo descent rocking out with a guitar wearing full leather jumpsuit. “Womens’ Band Day” is written in large font with the musician’s names written around the body of the guitarist.

ARI REMIX Presents: The EXTRA Zine Project feat.

EXTRA Issue # 6 | A Story of Queer TV Broadcasting in Sydney Australia

EXTRA

EXTRA is an Australian networked zine collaboration building from past, present and future ‘living’ archival art initiatives Issue # 3 Launch Nov. This emerging projects builds out from the ARI Remix Project and places an emphasis on the personal archives of artists directly involved in the Australian artist-run ecology 1940 to Now.

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You can access and freely download, print, fold and bind your own copy of the A4 Format ‘A Story of Queer TV Broadcasting in Sydney Australia’ (click here.)

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ARI REMIX PRESENTS “SELF-MADE, ARTIST-RUN” Queensland Artist-Run Heritage 1970 – NOW – An ARI Zine Anthology (1 May 2022 – 1 May 2023)

This project is supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland.

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